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Author Topic: DxO Optics Pro 9 released  (Read 14750 times)

neuroanatomist

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DxO Optics Pro 9 released
« on: October 23, 2013, 11:02:54 AM »
DxO just announced the release of Optics Pro 9 (press release pdf link). 

Along with the usual sorts improvements in the user interface and the addition of some new tools and presets, the headline of the v9 release is their PRIME noise reduction algorithm. 

Quote from: DxO
Thanks to PRIME (Probabilistic Raw IMage Enhancement) denoising technology, which analyzes the structure of RAW images in depth in order to differentiate between noise and fine details, DxO Optics Pro 9 offers a gain in image quality of up to one full stop over the best noise reduction algorithms currently on the market.

"In contrast to the usual approach of finding a better compromise between image quality and execution speed, we have created a tool whose sole purpose is to obtain the best image quality possible, "explained Frédéric Guichard, Chief Scientific Officer of DxO Labs. "For each pixel, more than a thousand neighboring pixels are analyzed. This vast exploration allows DxO Optics Pro to identify similar data that can serve to reconstruct image information. Several minutes may be required to do this, but this process takes place in the background, so users can work on other images and projects while they wait for the results."

PRIME technology results in truly spectacular images: noise is suppressed, and textures, details, and color saturation are preserved, particularly in shadows, for a beautifully natural look.
I can say from personal experience that this new NR algorithm does an excellent job of preserving detail while removing noise, particularly with very high ISO settings (ISO 6400 and up).  The trade off is time - they state that 'several minutes may be required' and they aren't kidding - processing a batch of images with PRIME will max out all of your processor cores for quite a while, although the coding is effective at keeping it in the background, so I don't find my MacBook Pro bogging down while the batch processing is proceeding.

As usual for DxO, there's a free 30-day trial activation period, with a fully functional version of the software.  From now through November 20th, they're offering a discount of $70 off the Standard version and $100 off the Elite version (the latter is needed for Canon full frame bodies).
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DxO Optics Pro 9 released
« on: October 23, 2013, 11:02:54 AM »

mackguyver

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Re: DxO Optics Pro 9 released
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2013, 10:14:53 AM »
I upgraded last night and while I didn't have a lot of time to play with it, I have to say it's pretty amazing on ISO 12,800 photos and it must use a lot of RAM or GPU to work because I have lots of both and PRIME didn't seem to add much time to the previews or processing.

I find Adobe's RAW processors easier and faster to use, but took the time to really learn DxO a few years back and use it for all my photos now because the results are worth the extra effort.  I'm curious to try the new export feature to drop my photos into PhotoShop as I still use that for PP on many of my photos.

Marsu42

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Re: DxO Optics Pro 9 released
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2013, 01:39:40 PM »
Along with the usual sorts improvements in the user interface and the addition of some new tools and presets, the headline of the v9 release is their PRIME noise reduction algorithm.

Thanks for the information - it's great news that Adobe has some actual competition left, and that'll most likely ensure ACR will also get enhancements to noise reduction, people not shooting raw will probably think again now.

I'll probably give dxo a try to see how this works on high iso noise, but the main problem remains - it breaks the ACR raw workflow, so if you want to continue in the very good LR you'll end up with a 100MB tif instead of a 20MB dng...

mackguyver

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Re: DxO Optics Pro 9 released
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2013, 02:50:10 PM »
Yes, workflow is always an issue with DxO, but I was never happy with Lightroom's speed or it's database(s) and I've found that Photomechanic solves my asset management for me.  My flow is to ingest with Photomechanic, select, label, and keyword my photos with it as XMP sidecars, drag & drop into DxO, output as TIFFs, then perform final edits as needed in PhotoShop and save the TIFF.  I'll then save as JPEG, print, or whatever from there.    When I do my monthly archive, I just do a batch process convert the CR2s to normal DNGs with Adobe's DNG tool and store the CR2, DNG, and final TIFF on my backup media.

Maybe it's not an elegant workflow, but it works better than it sounds and I don't have to worry about corrupt databases or anything else.

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Re: DxO Optics Pro 9 released
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2013, 04:00:53 PM »
Yes, workflow is always an issue with DxO, but I was never happy with Lightroom's speed or it's database(s) and I've found that Photomechanic solves my asset management for me.  My flow is to ingest with Photomechanic, select, label, and keyword my photos with it as XMP sidecars, drag & drop into DxO, output as TIFFs, then perform final edits as needed in PhotoShop and save the TIFF.  I'll then save as JPEG, print, or whatever from there.    When I do my monthly archive, I just do a batch process convert the CR2s to normal DNGs with Adobe's DNG tool and store the CR2, DNG, and final TIFF on my backup media.

Maybe it's not an elegant workflow, but it works better than it sounds and I don't have to worry about corrupt databases or anything else.

You have plenty of redundancy built in to prevent loss.  I am interested to see how it works and will download the upgrade tonight if I remember.
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Re: DxO Optics Pro 9 released
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2013, 04:34:27 PM »
I'm in the minority that LR just doesn't do anything really worth it to me. I use this and photoshop to accomplish what I need. I will be updating to ver 9 soon to see what the new noise correction can do. I'd like to see more about the software but the website is currently dead.

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: DxO Optics Pro 9 released
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2013, 03:43:20 AM »
I downloaded it once again, in the past, it was really slow, but now it seems much faster.  As before, it seems to do a good job of setting all the parameters automatically.  I tried it with some difficult images which had a horrible backlighting, and by using the one shot HDR setting, I got fairly good corrections without any further editing.  Correction of CA's was slightly better than Lightroom, but there was still a lot for unsupported lenses.
Now, how do I upload them to Smugmug?  I do it directly in lightroom using Jeffrey Friedls plug-in?  I do see a upload to Flickr function, so there is probably a add-in that does it.
 
The main difference that I see is that DXO does a nice job of automatically correcting images, while it takes a bit more work in Lightroom.  Lightroom has many more tools so I can do many things that DXO does not do, but its really good for someone who just wants a quick solution.
 
Here is the Lightroom version.  I like the warmer tone, so I kept it.
 

 
Here is the DO version. It uses their one-shot HDR function.
 

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Re: DxO Optics Pro 9 released
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2013, 03:43:20 AM »

mackguyver

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Re: DxO Optics Pro 9 released
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2013, 02:07:29 AM »
LR definitely has a lot more tools and is easier to work with in terms of uploading to Smugmug and such (I just used Smug's own uploader or Photomechanic's FTP), and DxO is fairly frustrating when you first to try replicate the results you get out of LR / ACR.  All very true.  It took me a long time, a lot of experimentation, and reading the manual, but you can get the same AND better results with DxO if you put in the time.  How much better depends on your needs, but for my work, it's worth it.  It's not very workflow friendly or easy to learn the advanced features, though.

Also, etg9, I'm not in love with LR, either and have tried every version of it, but still don't like it.  ACR is PhotoShop does what I need when I need it...

Finally, PRIME is mind blowingly good on my old Panasonic LX-5, which is noisy from ISO 400 and up. I used it on some concert photos and stuff like that at ISO 400, 800, and 1600 and the results were unbelievable.  Will post some samples of this and my earlier points sometime...

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Re: DxO Optics Pro 9 released
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2013, 04:53:08 AM »
I really need to download and try this myself some time. I've been a paid user since version 6 so have seen it improve, although there's still plenty of room for more.

What caught my attention is a statement to the effect they have also improved clipped highlight handling. In the past, comparisons of raw converters found this to be a weak spot as they didn't do synthesis using unclipped channels. So if they now also do this, that's another plus even if it is a catchup feature.
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Marsu42

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Re: DxO Optics Pro 9 released
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2013, 06:24:43 AM »
Fyi: The new PRIME noise reduction only works on *original* cr2 raw files, not on linear files (tiff) or if they were converted to raw dng via acr - so the backwards compatibility with Adobe is very limited if you didn't chose to keep the cr2 format :-\ ...

Let me know if anyone finds a workaround for this, it seems a bit strange to me since the dng afaik contains the same raw mosaic data as the cr2 file, just in a different container...

JohnDizzo15

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Re: DxO Optics Pro 9 released
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2013, 11:25:38 AM »
I'm far from an expert on the topic so was looking for some insight.

So this post prompted me to download and use the trial of DxO. I currently use LR5 and CS6 for basically everything. After processing the same CR2 files in both DxO and LR5 for noise reduction, I found that I was unable to see any advantage to the PRIME noise reduction processing. PRIME was set to value 40. Also, on a few of the high ISO images I tried to process that had a lot of edges in the shot, PRIME processing at 40 caused the lines/edges to look very jagged.

Any info on whether I'm just doing it all wrong would be greatly appreciated.

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: DxO Optics Pro 9 released
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2013, 03:55:43 PM »
I did a image taken in almost total darkness with my 5D MK III at ISO 51200.  I was actually checking its ability to autofocus in low light, so I had my 50mm f/1.4 on it.
 
I processed the images in DXO, using the prime NR but no other adjustments, in DPP with adjustments to NR & sharpening, and in Lightroom with adjustments to NR and Sharpening and clarity.
 
I tried to get the test as readable as possible while maintaining and detail in the red shield on the left.
I went in and checked just now, its red and not magenta or purple. There is gold inside a black scroll on the shield, the gold is totally lost at this high ISO.
 
DXO did the best at retaining any detail in the shield and was the only software to show it the correct color.  DXO also showed the image the darkest, so it looks dull.
 
Finally, I cropped the image to just the shield and some text so it could be viewed at about 1:1.
 
I was surprised and pleased that DXO was able to render the color correctly, and keep lots of detail, better than my efforts with LR and DPP.
 
I'm pretty well convinced.
 
I am wondering why it took DXO well over a minute to save the file as a full sized jpeg when LR does it in 10 sec or less.
 
I imported the rendered jpg images from DPP and DXO Pro 9 into Lightroom merely to upload them to smugmug.  I did not change anything, and they look the same to me.
 
1.  DPP
 

 
DXO

 
Lightroom
 

 

Marsu42

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Re: DxO Optics Pro 9 released
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2013, 04:40:25 PM »
I processed the images in DXO, using the prime NR but no other adjustments, in DPP with adjustments to NR & sharpening, and in Lightroom with adjustments to NR and Sharpening and clarity.

Thanks for the test - from what I see, I'd call DxO's PRIME rather "reconstruction" than "noise reduction", just as OneOne "perfect resize" uses special (fractal) algorithms to add data that wasn't in the original shot. Still, as long as it works it's a great step forward and I hope Adobe will follow suit in their ACR workflow.

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Re: DxO Optics Pro 9 released
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2013, 04:40:25 PM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: DxO Optics Pro 9 released
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2013, 05:09:08 PM »
Thanks, Mt. Spokane.  I ran comparison tests with earlier versions of v9, and saw results consistent with yours (the most recent improvements seem to have been in processing time...if you think PRIME takes a while now...).

This past Thursday, I took my daughters to a Halloween event. One part was storytelling by a 'witch' in a room lit only by a fireplace and a few jack-o-lanterns on the mantle, and I'm interested to see how PRIME does with those shots, which ranged from ISO 25600 to H1 (102400). I don't have high hopes, mostly because at f/2.8 the shutter speeds were 1/10 - 1/15 s.  As a side note, the center point of the 1D X did a good job of locking focus in that very dim light.
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mackguyver

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Re: DxO Optics Pro 9 released
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2013, 07:33:58 PM »
This past Thursday, I took my daughters to a Halloween event. One part was storytelling by a 'witch' in a room lit only by a fireplace and a few jack-o-lanterns on the mantle, and I'm interested to see how PRIME does with those shots, which ranged from ISO 25600 to H1 (102400). I don't have high hopes, mostly because at f/2.8 the shutter speeds were 1/10 - 1/15 s.  As a side note, the center point of the 1D X did a good job of locking focus in that very dim light.
Don't you hate it when you realize that the f/2.8 lens(es) you brought are WAY too slow for the event?  I think we've all done that one before.  I hope you're able to get something out of the shots in post.

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Re: DxO Optics Pro 9 released
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2013, 07:33:58 PM »